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March 2020

Dear friends

Welcome to the March edition of Operation Noah’s newsletter.

Operation Noah has recently welcomed two new members of staff to the team. Bokani Tshidzu is our new Bright Now Campaign Officer, working alongside James Buchanan. Caroline Harmon has just taken on the role of Communications Officer.

This month’s newsletter includes details of resources you can draw on from home, and details of postponements to events. Here at Operation Noah we have been following the news on the coronavirus outbreak here in the UK and around the world and are remembering in our prayers all those affected and everyone working to control the outbreak.

All the best,
The Operation Noah team

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POSTPONED: Operation Noah Supporters’ Day

In light of recent developments concerning the coronavirus pandemic, Operation Noah has made the decision to postpone its Supporters’ Day. We hope to set a new date in due course and will keep you updated through this newsletter, our website and social media. Many thanks for your patience and understanding in these uncertain times.

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All Hallows Leeds - photo credit Deirdre Duff 1

New Date for Global Divestment Announcement: 18 May 2020

Together with our friends at the World Council of Churches, the Global Catholic Climate Movement and Green Anglicans, Operation Noah has been planning a global divestment announcement for faith organisations. Operation Noah and our partners have decided to reschedule the announcement to 18 May 2020.

The new date of the announcement will coincide with Laudato Si’ Week (16-24 May 2020), which marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter on the environment, Laudato Si’.

Operation Noah invites local churches, religious orders and Christian organisations to consider joining the global divestment announcement in May. Please get in touch with Bokani Tshidzu before 12 May 2020 for more information or to register your interest.

Jesuits in Britain divestment - photo credit Bokani Tshidzu 1

Fossil Fuel Divestment Announcements

Jesuits in Britain Divest from Fossil Fuels

The Jesuits in Britain have announced they are divesting from companies whose major income is from the extraction of fossil fuels. They are the largest Catholic religious order in the UK to join the global divestment movement to date.

Jesuits in Britain have been considering full divestment for several years, but until now had opted to engage with oil and gas companies. Br Stephen Power SJ, who manages Jesuits in Britain’s ethical investment strategy, said: ‘The severity of the climate emergency has made it crystal clear that action is needed more than words if climate action is to be effective.’

Read more about the Jesuits in Britain divestment decision here.

URC West Midlands Synod Divests from Fossil Fuels

The United Reformed Church’s (URC) West Midlands Synod Trust has decided to end investments in fossil fuel companies, becoming the sixth URC Synod to divest. It follows the United Reformed Church’s decision to fully divest from fossil fuel companies last year.

The West Midlands Synod Trust has also committed to fitting solar photovoltaic (PV) cells to many of its manses as part of an existing refurbishment programme, as well as investigating whether it can install or subsidise solar cells on church roofs.

Read more on our blog.

Sisters of St Joseph of Peace Divest from Fossil Fuels

The Sisters of St Joseph of Peace have announced that they have completed the divestment of their UK investment portfolio. The Sisters made the decision to divest in 2018 and were 100% fossil free in 2019.

The Sisters of St Joseph of Peace are striving to take a holistic approach with their investment policy. As well as divesting from fossil fuels, for the last three years the congregation has also actively invested in a fund which focuses entirely on sustainable investments.

Read more about the Sisters’ decision here.

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Climate Change Lent Prayer Vigil Goes Virtual

A 24/7 Lent Prayer Vigil has gone virtual because of developments around Covid-19.

Christian Climate Action (CCA), working with other faith groups, began the vigil outside the Houses of Parliament on Ash Wednesday as a way of bearing witness to the urgent need to end our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels. People came together with humility and compassion in lament for the climate and ecological crisis and to pray for our leaders and representatives to find in themselves the courage to take the urgent action that is necessary to protect our fragile and wounded world.

Since Monday 23 March the vigil has been virtual and there are two ways to get involved from home:

*Sign for a virtual slot. Pray in your home, pray outside, pray alone or pray with others. Whether you’re self-isolating or not you can take part. Posts will be appearing on CCA’s social media showing where and how people are praying.
* Join online prayer sessions at 9am and 9pm each day via Zoom. The morning sessions will be led by CCA, the evening sessions will have a multi-faith focus.

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Musica Antica Rotherhithe Raises Over £1500 for Operation Noah

Operation Noah was delighted to receive a donation of more than £1500 last month from Music Antica Rotherhithe. The ensemble performed the UK premiere of Falvetti’s Diluvio Universale at Holy Trinity Rotherhithe, with all ticket sales supporting Operation Noah.

With anthropomorphised elements competing over the right to end mankind, and a gleeful Grim Reaper eyeing victims, it offered comedy of the darkest kind. Yet its pivotal message was of hope and redemption, presented in gorgeous music, and through a tale – Noah’s Ark – that can be understood by all.

Antica Rotherhithe

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Catch up with our most recent blog posts

Run Tenants of the King Bible Study Online

Many of us are turning to online activities at the moment as a way of staying connected to each other. If you would like to ‘meet’ virtually with others from your church, then why not run an online Tenants of the King Bible study? We've written a blog to guide you through how to do this using Zoom, an online conference facility.

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Read, Watch and Listen

This newsletter normally includes a list of ‘Dates for Your Diary’ but this month we are instead providing a list of things you might like to read, watch or listen to in the coming weeks.

1. Operation Noah resources. Our online resources are organised by topics including theology, science, communicating climate change, worship and more.
2. Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio. With almost three weeks of Lent still to come, there’s still time to read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book for 2020. Ruth Valerio imaginatively draws on the Days of Creation (Genesis 1) as she relates themes of light, water, land, the seasons, other creatures, humankind, Sabbath rest and resurrection hope to matters of environmental, ethical and social concern. There are also videos to accompany each chapter.
3. Time To Act. Published by Christian Climate Action in February, this resource book sets out the moral and religious case for joining the struggle against climate change. With reflections, testimonies, sermons, prayers, liturgies and other spiritual resources, it’s a great one to dip in and out of.
4. Katharine Hayhoe, the US climate scientist and Christian, was due to speak in Glasgow last week but, understandably, the event was cancelled. She spoke in Oxford in 2017 and her talk is still available online.
1. Operation Noah resources. Our online resources are organised by topics including theology, science, communicating climate change, worship and more.
2. Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio. With almost three weeks of Lent still to come, there’s still time to read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book for 2020. Ruth Valerio imaginatively draws on the Days of Creation (Genesis 1) as she relates themes of light, water, land, the seasons, other creatures, humankind, Sabbath rest and resurrection hope to matters of environmental, ethical and social concern. There are also videos to accompany each chapter.
3. Time To Act. Published by Christian Climate Action in February, this resource book sets out the moral and religious case for joining the struggle against climate change. With reflections, testimonies, sermons, prayers, liturgies and other spiritual resources, it’s a great one to dip in and out of.
4. Katharine Hayhoe, the US climate scientist and Christian, was due to speak in Glasgow last week but, understandably, the event was cancelled. She spoke in Oxford in 2017 and her talk is still available online.
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Please support the work of Operation Noah

Our campaigns and activities rely on donations from individuals and organisations so please consider giving a one-off or regular donation. You could also encourage your church to do a service collection or make a donation.

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